By Kelly McCormack - 01/04/07 12:00 AM EST
Several Library of Congress (LoC) employees were exposed to dangerous levels of lead when the agency violated lead-safety laws, according to a citation filed by the Office of Compliance (OoC).
The citation, which was filed last month, states that leaking water passed through surfaces with lead-based paint causing the paint to flake and chip. It then "collected and remained on working surfaces exposing employees to this hazard."
The LoC also violated a section of Congressional Accountability Act code when it used a fan to dry an area, blowing "lead-based paint flakes and chips into the air," the citation says.
LoC employees did not seek assistance from the Library's safety representatives nor did they request help from the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) for more than five days after the water damage was discovered, according to the OoC citation.
The OoC said that the LoC must ensure that its employees are able to distinguish possible safety and health hazards, protect its employees from the hazard, and contact the Library's safety representative and/or the AoC when necessary. Proof of these actions must be sent to the OoC's Office of General Counsel by Jan. 31, the citation states.
LoC and AoC spokespeople were not available for comment.